The NFL season is in its home stretch. The final quarter with just four games remaining which means now is when some teams are thinking about the playoffs and other are beginning to think about the draft. The Raiders, while not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, are more in the position of looking at the draft.
With that in mind, here are the top ten draft positions according to Sports Illustrated:
1. Houston Texans (2-10)
2. St. Louis Rams - via Washington Redskins (3-9; current SOS: .521)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9; current SOS: .538)
4. Atlanta Falcons (3-9; current SOS: .560)
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-9; current SOS: .592)
6. Minnesota Vikings (3-8-1)
7. Oakland Raiders (4-8; current SOS: .479)
8. Cleveland Browns (4-8; current SOS: .493)
9. Buffalo Bills (4-8; current SOS: .545)
10. New York Jets (5-7; current SOS: .497)
Obviously a lot can happen in the next four weeks. But at this point, most bad teams don't suddenly become good and change their draft position too drastically. The Jaguars have gone 3-1 in the past four games and yet they still sit in the third overall spot.
The Raiders final four games are against the New York Jets and then finish out against the three division rivals Chiefs, Chargers, and Broncos - all tough match-ups.
I'm sure many of you have been looking at which college players are expected to be chosen in the top ten picks already and have your ideas of who the Raiders should pick. How the Raiders perform over these last four weeks will help decide what their greatest needs are as well as which pick they will have.
The college bowl season will also help determine where each prospect is projected to be taken in the draft.